In the context of the work environment, differentiate between ‘coercion’ and ‘undue influence’ with suitable examples

Model Answer


Idealy work environment should be democratic, inspiring and motivating. However, often organizations seek recourse to intimidiating tactics like coercion and undue influence to make employees aligned with organisation goals.



  • Forced compliance is obtained by the use of threats, force or intimidation. E.g., Satyam Scandal, M Raju Coerced the employees into fraudulent activities.
  • Coercion is deprivation of free will. BPO employees are coerced into working overnight shifts against labour laws by threatening job loss.
  • It involves misuse of authority and violation of law.
  • Coercion undermines human dignity and right to independent choice.
  • Coercion leads to hostile work environment and legal issues. E.g., Enron Scandal, threat of job loss.

Undue Influence:

  • It happens when someone misuses their power or trust to influence the decision-making of another person.
  • Undue influence is unfair persuasion.
  • Corporate lobbyists giving expensive gifts and hospitality to influence policies
  • It involves taking unfair advantage of vulnerable position.
  • It involves manipulation to sway their decision-making without usage of explicit force. E.g., Tobacco companies creating undue influence on scientists and researchers. (Marlboro case)

It may lead to creation of collusive work environment. E.g., Coal block allocation case.


Organisation should refrain from negative tactics like coercion and undue influence and employee. The focus should be on trusting the employees, motivating them and recognizing them for their contribution. Gandhi Ji’s model of trusteeship should be followed by organization.

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